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Auctioneers join both state and national auctioneer associations in order to network, learn and enjoy the company of fellow auctioneers. In turn, auctioneer associations offer benefits to those members; for instance, the National Auctioneer Association has a 3-legged stool approach: Education, Promotion and Advocacy.

Somewhat naturally, some auctioneer association member benefits result in benefiting all auctioneers — members or not. A glaring example is the National Auctioneers Association’s work on the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al. case. We wrote about that here with links to other important resources: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/south-dakota-v-wayfair-inc-et-al/.

Our question today is more so, “What if a nonmember wants member benefits?” It would seem any benefit an association provides would be directed to members — and if it also helps nonmembers, then so be it.

However, associations have no directive to provide solely nonmembers benefits of membership. That is, unless the membership approves of such. For example, a membership drive sending an email to nonmembers with links to select articles/resources in order to induce them to join.

Otherwise, it seems to me that if a nonmember wants member benefits, the easiest path to receive them is to become a member. Said another way, asking for member benefits without a willingness to pay the membership fee is misguided.

Further, there is a risk here associations are prudent to realize. If member benefits are routinely provided to nonmembers, the value of membership declines. A member paying dues (and other costs) could rightly ask, “Why am I a member if nonmembers receive the same benefits?”

Does anyone really expect tangible or intangible valuable/good consideration for free? Some say nothing is really free — while some others are famous for the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” Maybe the thought, “You don’t get what you don’t pay for …” is just as appropriate here?

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.